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Windows XP
Windows XP
(codenamed Whistler) is a personal computer operating system that was produced by Microsoft
Microsoft
as part of the Windows NT
Windows NT
family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and broadly released for retail sale on October 25, 2001. Development of Windows XP
Windows XP
began in the late 1990s as "Neptune", an operating system built on the Windows NT
Windows NT
kernel which was intended specifically for mainstream consumer use. An updated version of Windows 2000
Windows 2000
was also originally planned for the business market; however, in January 2000, both projects were shelved in favor of a single OS codenamed "Whistler", which would serve as a single OS platform for both consumer and business markets. Windows XP
Windows XP
was a major advance from the MS-DOS
MS-DOS
based versions of Windows in security, stability and efficiency[5] due to its use of Windows NT underpinnings. It introduced a significantly redesigned graphical user interface and was the first version of Windows to use product activation in an effort to reduce its copyright infringement. Upon its release, Windows XP
Windows XP
received generally positive reviews, with critics noting increased performance and overall stability (especially in comparison to Windows ME), a more intuitive user interface, improved hardware support, and expanded multimedia capabilities.[6] Despite some initial concerns over the new licensing model and product activation system, Windows XP
Windows XP
eventually proved to be popular and widely used. It is estimated that at least 400 million copies of Windows XP
Windows XP
were sold globally within its first five years of availability,[7][8] and at least one billion copies were sold by April 2014.[9] Sales of Windows XP
Windows XP
licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ceased on June 30, 2008, but continued for netbooks until October 2010. Extended support for Windows XP
Windows XP
ended on April 8, 2014, after which the operating system ceased receiving further support or security updates to most users. As of January 2018[update], Windows XP holds 3.36% of the whole Windows market share,[10] meaning it has 2.8% of the desktop operating system market share. Other estimates are as high as 4.05%. Its market share is no longer in double digits in the vast majority of countries.

Contents

1 Development

1.1 "Neptune" and "Odyssey" 1.2 "Whistler" 1.3 Beta versions 1.4 Release

2 New and updated features

2.1 User interface 2.2 Infrastructure 2.3 Networking and internet functionality 2.4 Other features

3 Removed features 4 Editions 5 Service packs

5.1 Service Pack 1 5.2 Service Pack 2 5.3 Service Pack 3

5.3.1 New features in Service Pack 3 5.3.2 Previously released updates

6 System requirements

6.1 Physical memory limits 6.2 Processor limits

7 Support lifecycle

7.1 End of support

8 Reception

8.1 Market share

9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading

Development[edit] "Neptune" and "Odyssey"[edit] In the late 1990s, initial development of what would become Windows XP was focused on two individual products; "Odyssey", which was reportedly intended to succeed the future Windows 2000, and "Neptune", which was reportedly a consumer-oriented operating system using the Windows NT
Windows NT
architecture, succeeding the MS-DOS-based Windows 98. Based on the NT 5.0 kernel in Windows 2000, Neptune primarily focused on offering a simplified, task-based interface based on a concept known internally as "activity centers", originally planned to be implemented in Windows 98. A number of activity centers were planned, serving as hubs for email communications, playing music, managing or viewing photos, searching the Internet, and viewing recently used content. A single build of Neptune, 5111 (which still carried the branding of Windows 2000
Windows 2000
in places), revealed early work on the activity center concept, with an updated user account interface and graphical login screen, common functions (such as recently used programs) being accessible from a customizable "Starting Places" page (which could be used as either a separate window, or a full-screen desktop replacement).[11][12][13] However, the project proved to be too ambitious. Microsoft
Microsoft
discussed a plan to delay Neptune in favor of an interim OS known as "Asteroid", which would have been an update to Windows 2000
Windows 2000
( Windows NT
Windows NT
5.0), and have a consumer-oriented version. At the WinHEC conference on April 7, 1999, Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
announced an updated version of Windows 98
Windows 98
known as Windows Millennium, breaking a promise made by Microsoft
Microsoft
CEO Bill Gates in 1998 that Windows 98
Windows 98
would be the final consumer-oriented version of Windows to use the MS-DOS
MS-DOS
architecture. Concepts introduced by Neptune would influence future Windows products; in Windows ME, the activity center concept was used for System Restore
System Restore
and Help and Support Center (which both combined Win32 code with an interface rendered using Internet
Internet
Explorer's layout engine), the hub concept would be expanded on Windows Phone, and Windows 8
Windows 8
would similarly use a simplified user interface running atop the existing Windows shell.[14][15] "Whistler"[edit] In January 2000, shortly prior to the official release of Windows 2000, technology writer Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft
Microsoft
had shelved both Neptune and Odyssey in favor of a new product codenamed Whistler, after Whistler, British Columbia, as many Microsoft employees skied at the Whistler-Blackcomb
Whistler-Blackcomb
ski resort.[16] The goal of Whistler was to unify both the consumer and business-oriented Windows lines under a single, Windows NT
Windows NT
platform: Thurrott stated that Neptune had become "a black hole when all the features that were cut from [Windows ME] were simply re-tagged as Neptune features. And since Neptune and Odyssey would be based on the same code-base anyway, it made sense to combine them into a single project".[13] At WinHEC in April 2000, Microsoft
Microsoft
officially announced and presented an early build of Whistler, focusing on a new modularized architecture, built-in CD burning, fast user switching, and updated versions of the digital media features introduced by ME. Windows general manager Carl Stork stated that Whistler would be released in both consumer- and business-oriented versions built atop the same architecture, and that there were plans to update the Windows interface to make it "warmer and more friendly".[11][13] In June 2000, Microsoft
Microsoft
began the technical beta testing process. Whistler was expected to be made available in "Personal", "Professional", "Server", "Advanced Server", and "Datacenter" editions. At PDC on July 13, 2000, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced that Whistler would be released during the second half of 2001, and also released the first preview build, 2250. The build notably introduced an early version of a new visual styles system along with an interim theme known as "Professional" (later renamed "Watercolor"), and contained a hidden "Start page" (a full-screen page similar to Neptune's "Starting Places"), and a hidden, early version of a two-column Start menu design.[17] Build 2257 featured further refinements to the Watercolor theme, along with the official introduction of the two-column Start menu, and the addition of an early version of Windows Firewall.[13] Beta versions[edit] Microsoft
Microsoft
released Whistler Beta 1, build 2296, on October 31, 2000. In January 2001, build 2410 introduced Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
6.0 (previously branded as 5.6) and the Microsoft
Microsoft
Product Activation system. Bill Gates
Bill Gates
dedicated a portion of his keynote at Consumer Electronics Show to discuss Whistler, explaining that the OS would bring "[the] dependability of our highest end corporate desktop, and total dependability, to the home," and also "move it in the direction of making it very consumer-oriented. Making it very friendly for the home user to use." Alongside Beta 1, it was also announced that Microsoft
Microsoft
would prioritize the release of the consumer-oriented versions of Whistler over the server-oriented versions in order to gauge reaction, but that they would be both generally available during the second half of 2001 (Whistler Server would ultimately be delayed into 2003).[18] Builds 2416 and 2419 added the File
File
and Transfer Settings Wizard and began to introduce elements of the operating system's final appearance (such as its near-final Windows Setup design, and the addition of new default wallpapers, such as Bliss).[19] On February 5, 2001, Microsoft
Microsoft
officially announced that Whistler would be known as Windows XP, where XP stands for "experience". As a complement, the next version of Microsoft
Microsoft
Office was also announced as Office XP. Microsoft
Microsoft
stated that the name "[symbolizes] the rich and extended user experiences Windows and Office can offer by embracing Web services that span a broad range of devices." In a press event at EMP Museum
EMP Museum
in Seattle
Seattle
on February 13, 2001, Microsoft
Microsoft
publicly unveiled the new "Luna" user interface of Windows XP. Windows XP
Windows XP
Beta 2, build 2462a (which among other improvements, introduced the Luna style), was launched at WinHEC on March 25, 2001.[20][21] In April 2001, Microsoft
Microsoft
controversially announced that XP would not integrate support for Bluetooth
Bluetooth
or USB 2.0
USB 2.0
on launch, requiring the use of third-party drivers. Critics felt that in the case of the latter, Microsoft's decision had delivered a potential blow to the adoption of USB
USB
2.0, as XP was to provide support for the competing, Apple-developed, FireWire
FireWire
standard instead. A representative stated that the company had "[recognized] the importance of USB 2.0
USB 2.0
as a newly emerging standard and is evaluating the best mechanism for making it available to Windows XP
Windows XP
users after the initial release."[22] The builds prior to and following Release Candidate 1 (build 2505, released on July 5, 2001), and Release Candidate 2 (build 2526, released on July 27, 2001), focused on fixing bugs, acknowledging user feedback, and other final tweaks before the RTM build.[21] Release[edit] In June 2001, Microsoft
Microsoft
indicated that it was planning to, in conjunction with Intel
Intel
and other PC makers, spend at least US$1 billion on marketing and promoting Windows XP.[23] The theme of the campaign, "Yes You Can", was designed to emphasize the platform's overall capabilities. Microsoft
Microsoft
had originally planned to use the slogan "Prepare to Fly", but it was replaced due to sensitivity issues in the wake of the September 11 attacks.[24] A prominent aspect of Microsoft's campaign was a U.S. television commercial featuring Madonna's song "Ray of Light"; a Microsoft
Microsoft
spokesperson stated that the song was chosen due to its optimistic tone and how it complemented the overall theme of the campaign.[25][26] On August 24, 2001, Windows XP
Windows XP
build 2600 was released to manufacturing. During a ceremonial media event at Microsoft
Microsoft
Redmond Campus, copies of the RTM build were given to representatives of several major PC manufacturers in briefcases, who then flew off on decorated helicopters. While PC manufacturers would be able to release devices running XP beginning on September 24, 2001, XP was expected to reach general, retail availability on October 25, 2001. On the same day, Microsoft
Microsoft
also announced the final retail pricing of XP's two main editions, "Home" and "Professional".[21][27] New and updated features[edit] Main article: Features new to Windows XP User interface[edit]

Updated start menu, now featuring two columns

While retaining some similarities to previous versions, Windows XP's interface was overhauled with a new visual appearance, with an increased use of alpha compositing effects, drop shadows, and "visual styles", which completely change the appearance of the operating system. The number of effects enabled are determined by the operating system based on the computer's processing power, and can be enabled or disabled on a case-by-case basis. XP also added ClearType, a new subpixel rendering system designed to improve the appearance of fonts on liquid-crystal displays.[28] A new set of system icons was also introduced.[29][30] The default wallpaper, Bliss, is a photo of a landscape in the Napa Valley outside Napa, California, with rolling green hills and a blue sky with stratocumulus and cirrus clouds.[31] The Start menu
Start menu
received its first major overhaul on XP, switching to a two-column layout with the ability to list, pin, and display frequently used applications, recently opened documents, and the traditional cascading "All Programs" menu. The taskbar can now group windows opened by a single application into one taskbar button, with a popup menu listing the individual windows. The notification area also hides "inactive" icons by default. The taskbar can also be "locked" to prevent accidental moving or other changes. A "common tasks" list was added, and Windows Explorer's sidebar was updated to use a new task-based design with lists of common actions; the tasks displayed are contextually relevant to the type of content in a folder (i.e. a folder with music displays offers to play all the files in the folder, or burn them to a CD).

The "task grouping" feature introduced in Windows XP
Windows XP
showing both grouped and individual items

Fast user switching allows additional users to log into a Windows XP machine without existing users having to close their programs and logging out. Although only one user at the time can use the console (i.e. monitor, keyboard and mouse), previous users can resume their session once they regained control of the console.[32] Infrastructure[edit] Windows XP
Windows XP
uses prefetcher to improve startup and application launch times.[33][34] It also became possible to revert the installation of an updated device driver, should the updated driver produce undesirable results.[35] Numerous improvements were also made to system administration tools such as Windows Installer, Windows Script Host, Disk Defragmenter, Windows Task Manager, Group Policy, CHKDSK, NTBackup, Microsoft Management Console, Shadow Copy, Registry Editor, Sysprep
Sysprep
and WMI.[36][further explanation needed] Windows XP
Windows XP
introduced a copy protection system known as Windows Product Activation. All Windows licenses must be tied to a unique ID generated using information from the computer hardware, transmitted either via the internet or a telephone hotline. If Windows is not activated within 30 days of installation, the OS will cease to function until it is activated. Windows also periodically verifies the hardware to check for changes. If significant hardware changes are detected, the activation is voided, and Windows must be re-activated.[37] Networking and internet functionality[edit] Windows XP
Windows XP
was originally bundled with Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
6, Outlook Express 6, Windows Messenger, and MSN Explorer. New networking features were also added, including Internet
Internet
Connection Firewall, Internet Connection Sharing integration with UPnP, NAT traversal APIs, Quality of Service features, IPv6 and Teredo tunneling, Background Intelligent Transfer Service, extended fax features, network bridging, peer to peer networking, support for most DSL modems, IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) connections with auto configuration and roaming, TAPI 3.1, and networking over FireWire.[38] Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop were also added, which allow users to connect to a computer running Windows XP
Windows XP
from across a network or the Internet
Internet
and access their applications, files, printers, and devices or request help.[39] Improvements were also made to IntelliMirror features such as Offline Files, Roaming user profiles and Folder redirection. Other features[edit]

DirectX
DirectX
8.1 upgradeable to DirectX
DirectX
9.0c A number of new features in Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer
including task panes, tiles and filmstrip views, improved sorting and grouping, searching by document categories, customizable infotips, built-in CD burning, AutoPlay, Simple File
File
Sharing and WebDAV mini-redirector Improved imaging features such as Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, improved image handling and thumbnail caching in Explorer A number of kernel enhancements and power management improvements Faster start-up, (due to improved Prefetch functions) logon, logoff, hibernation and application launch sequences.[33] Numerous improvements to increase the system reliability such as improved System Restore, Automated System Recovery, Windows Error Reporting and driver reliability Hardware support improvements such as USB 2.0
USB 2.0
(with Service Pack 1), FireWire
FireWire
800, Windows Image Acquisition, Media Transfer Protocol, DualView for multi-monitors and audio improvements Fast user switching The ClearType
ClearType
font rendering mechanism, which is designed to improve text readability on liquid-crystal display (LCD) and similar monitors, especially laptops.[28][40] Side-by-side assemblies and registration-free COM Improved media features in Windows Media format runtime, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, TV/video capture and playback technologies, Windows Media Encoder and introduction of Windows Media Center General improvements to international support such as more locales, languages and scripts, MUI support in Terminal Services, improved IMEs and National Language Support, Text Services Framework Improved application compatibility and shims compared to Windows 2000 Updated accessories and games Native support for ZIP files (compressed folders)

Removed features[edit] Main article: List of features removed in Windows XP Some of the programs and features that were part of the previous versions of Windows did not make it to Windows XP. CD Player, DVD Player, and Imaging for Windows
Imaging for Windows
are replaced with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Windows Media Player, and Windows shell. NetBEUI and NetDDE are deprecated and are not installed by default. DLC and AppleTalk
AppleTalk
network protocols are removed. Plug-and-play–incompatible communication devices (like modems and network interface cards) are no longer supported. Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 also remove features from Windows XP but to a less noticeable extent. For instance, Program Manager
Program Manager
and support for TCP half-open connections are removed in Service Pack 2. The Energy Star
Energy Star
logo and the address bar on the taskbar are removed in Service Pack 3. Editions[edit] Main article: Windows XP
Windows XP
editions

Diagram representing the main editions of Windows XP. It is based on the category of the edition (grey) and codebase (black arrow).

Windows XP
Windows XP
was released in two major editions on launch: Home Edition and Professional Edition. Both editions were made available at retail as pre-loaded software on new computers, and in boxed copies. Boxed copies were sold as "Upgrade" or "Full" licenses; the "Upgrade" versions were slightly cheaper, but require an existing version of Windows to install. The "Full" version can be installed on systems without an operating system or existing version of Windows.[23] Both versions of XP were aimed towards different markets: Home Edition is explicitly intended for consumer use and disables or removes certain advanced and enterprise-oriented features present on Professional, such as the ability to join a Windows domain, Internet
Internet
Information Services, and Multilingual User Interface. Windows 98
Windows 98
or ME can be upgraded to either version, but Windows NT
Windows NT
4.0 and Windows 2000
Windows 2000
can only be upgraded to Professional.[41] Windows' software license agreement for pre-loaded licenses allows the software to be "returned" to the OEM for a refund if the user does not wish to use it.[42] Despite the refusal of some manufacturers to honor the entitlement, it has been enforced by courts in some countries.[43][44] Two specialized variants of XP were introduced in 2002 for certain types of hardware, exclusively through OEM channels as pre-loaded software. Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Media Center Edition
was initially designed for high-end home theater PCs with TV tuners (marketed under the term "Media Center PC"), offering expanded multimedia functionality, an electronic program guide, and digital video recorder (DVR) support through the Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center
application.[45] Microsoft
Microsoft
also unveiled Windows XP
Windows XP
Tablet PC Edition, which contains additional pen input features, and is optimized for mobile devices meeting its Tablet PC specifications.[46] Two different 64-bit editions of XP were made available; the first, Windows XP
Windows XP
64-Bit Edition, was intended for IA-64
IA-64
(Itanium) systems; as IA-64
IA-64
usage declined on workstations in favor of AMD's x86-64 architecture (which was supported by the later Windows XP
Windows XP
Professional x64 Edition), the Itanium
Itanium
version was discontinued in 2005.[47] Microsoft
Microsoft
also targeted emerging markets with the 2004 introduction of Windows XP
Windows XP
Starter Edition, a special variant of Home Edition intended for low-cost PC's. The OS is primarily aimed at first-time computer owners, containing heavy localization (including wallpapers and screen savers incorporating images of local landmarks), and a "My Support" area which contains video tutorials on basic computing tasks. It also removes certain "complex" features, and does not allow users to run more than three applications at a time. After a pilot program in India and Thailand, Starter was released in other emerging markets throughout 2005.[48] In 2006, Microsoft
Microsoft
also unveiled the FlexGo initiative, which would also target emerging markets with subsidized PCs on a pre-paid, subscription basis.[49] As the result of unfair competition lawsuits in Europe
Europe
and South Korea, which both alleged that Microsoft
Microsoft
had improperly leveraged its status in the PC market to favor its own bundled software, Microsoft was ordered to release special versions of XP in these markets that excluded certain applications. In March 2004, after the European Commission fined Microsoft
Microsoft
€497 million (US$603 million), Microsoft was ordered to release "N" versions of XP that excluded Windows Media Player, encouraging users to pick and download their own media player software. As it was sold at the same price as the version with Windows Media Player included, certain OEMs (such as Dell, who offered it for a short period, along with Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo
Lenovo
and Fujitsu Siemens) chose not to offer it. Consumer interest was minuscule, with roughly 1,500 units shipped to OEMs, and no reported sales to consumers.[50][51][52][53] In December 2005, the Korean Fair Trade Commission ordered Microsoft
Microsoft
to make available editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003
that do not contain Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player
or Windows Messenger.[54] The "K" and "KN" editions of Windows XP
Windows XP
were released in August 2006, and are only available in English and Korean, and also contain links to third-party instant messenger and media player software.[55] Service packs[edit] A service pack is cumulative update package that is a superset of all updates, and even service packs, that have been released before it.[56][57][58] Three service packs have been released for Windows XP. Service Pack 3 is slightly different, in that it needs at least Service Pack 1 to have been installed, in order to update a live OS.[58][59] However, Service Pack 3 can still be embedded into a Windows installation disc; SP1 is not reported as a prerequisite for doing so.[60][61] Service Pack 1[edit] Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows XP
Windows XP
was released on September 9, 2002. It contained over 300 minor, post-RTM bug fixes, along with all security patches released since the original release of XP. SP1 also added USB 2.0
USB 2.0
support, Microsoft
Microsoft
Java Virtual Machine, .NET Framework support, and support for technologies used by the then-upcoming Media Center and Tablet PC editions of XP. The most significant change on SP1 was the addition of Set Program Access and Defaults, a settings page which allows programs to be set as default for certain types of activities (such as media players or web browsers) and for access to bundled, Microsoft
Microsoft
programs (such as Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
or Windows Media Player) to be disabled. This feature was added to comply with the settlement of United States v. Microsoft
Microsoft
Corp., which required Microsoft
Microsoft
to offer the ability for OEMs to bundle third-party competitors to software it bundles with Windows (such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player), and give them the same level of prominence as those normally bundled with the OS.[62][63][64] On February 3, 2003, Microsoft
Microsoft
released Service Pack 1a (SP1a). It is the same as SP1, except Microsoft
Microsoft
Java Virtual Machine is removed.[65] Service Pack 2[edit]

Windows Security Center
Windows Security Center
was added in Service Pack 2.

Service Pack 2 (SP2) was released on August 25, 2004,[66] SP2 added new functionality to Windows XP, such as WPA encryption compatibility and improved Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi
support (with a wizard utility), a pop-up ad blocker for Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
6, and partial Bluetooth
Bluetooth
support. Service Pack 2 also added new security enhancements (codenamed "Springboard"),[67] which included a major revision to the included firewall (renamed Windows Firewall, and now enabled by default), Data Execution Prevention gained hardware support in the NX bit that can stop some forms of buffer overflow attacks. Raw socket support is removed (which supposedly limits the damage done by zombie machines) and the Windows Messenger
Windows Messenger
service (which had been abused to cause pop-up advertisements to be displayed as system messages without a web browser or any additional software) became disabled by default. Additionally, security-related improvements were made to e-mail and web browsing. Service Pack 2 also added Security Center, an interface which provides a general overview of the system's security status, including the state of the firewall and automatic updates. Third-party firewall and antivirus software can also be monitored from Security Center.[68] In August 2006, Microsoft
Microsoft
released updated installation media for Windows XP
Windows XP
and Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003
SP2 (SP2b), in order to incorporate a patch requiring ActiveX
ActiveX
controls in Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
to be manually activated before a user may interact with them. This was done so that the browser would not violate a patent owned by Eolas.[69][70] Microsoft
Microsoft
has since licensed the patent, and released a patch reverting the change in April 2008.[71] In September 2007, another minor revision known as SP2c was released for XP Professional, extending the number of available product keys for the operating system to "support the continued availability of Windows XP Professional through the scheduled system builder channel end-of-life (EOL) date of January 31, 2009."[72] Service Pack 3[edit] Windows XP
Windows XP
Service Pack 3 (SP3) was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2008, and to the public via both the Microsoft
Microsoft
Download Center and Windows Update
Windows Update
on May 6, 2008.[73][74][75][76] It began being automatically pushed out to Automatic Updates users on July 10, 2008.[77] A feature set overview which details new features available separately as stand-alone updates to Windows XP, as well as backported features from Windows Vista, has been posted by Microsoft.[78] A total of 1,174 fixes are included in SP3.[79] Service Pack 3 can be installed on systems with Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
versions 6, 7, or 8.[80] Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
7 is not included as part of SP3.[81] Service Pack 3 is not available for the 64 bit version of Windows XP, which is based on the Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003
kernel. New features in Service Pack 3[edit]

NX APIs for application developers to enable Data Execution Prevention for their code, independent of system-wide compatibility enforcement settings[82] Turns black hole router detection on by default.[83] Support for SHA-2
SHA-2
signatures in X.509
X.509
certificates[83] Network Access Protection client Group Policy
Group Policy
support for IEEE 802.1X
802.1X
authentication for wired network adapters[84] Credential Security Support Provider[85] Descriptive Security options in Group Policy/Local Security Policy user interface An updated version of the Microsoft
Microsoft
Enhanced Cryptographic Provider Module (RSAENH) that is FIPS 140-2
FIPS 140-2
certified (SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512 algorithms.[83] Installing without requiring a product key during setup for retail and OEM versions

Previously released updates[edit] Service Pack 3 also incorporated several previously released key updates for Windows XP, which were not included up to SP2, including:

Windows Imaging Component[86] IPSec Simple Policy Update for simplified creation and maintenance of IPSec filters[87] Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.5 MSXML 6.0 SP2 and XMLLite Microsoft
Microsoft
Management Console 3.0 Credential Roaming service (Digital Identity Management Service) update Remote Desktop Protocol 6.1 including support for ClearType
ClearType
and 32-bit color depth over RDP[88] RemoteApp
RemoteApp
server which is used for Windows XP
Windows XP
Mode Credential Security Support Provider which provides Network Level Authentication and Single Sign-On for RDP Peer Name Resolution Protocol 2.1 Network Diagnostics update WPA2
WPA2
Update[89] Windows Script 5.7 Windows Installer
Windows Installer
3.1 v2 Wireless LAN API[90] Improvements made to Windows Management Instrumentation in Windows Vista to reduce the possibility of corruption of the WMI repository[91]

Service Pack 3 contains updates to the operating system components of Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Media Center Edition
(MCE) and Windows XP
Windows XP
Tablet PC Edition, and security updates for .NET Framework
.NET Framework
version 1.0, which is included in these editions. However, it does not include update rollups for the Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center
application in Windows XP
Windows XP
MCE 2005.[92] SP3 also omits security updates for Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player
10, although the player is included in Windows XP
Windows XP
MCE 2005.[92] The Address Bar DeskBand on the Taskbar
Taskbar
is no longer included due to antitrust violation concerns.[93] System requirements[edit] System requirements for Windows XP
Windows XP
are as follows:

System requirements

Minimum Recommended

Home/Professional Edition[94]

CPU

Pentium
Pentium
or compatible, 233 MHz[1] BIOS
BIOS
or compatible firmware[95]

Pentium
Pentium
or compatible, 300 MHz BIOS
BIOS
or compatible firmware[95]

Memory 64 MB[2] 128 MB

Hard drive

1.5 GB Master boot record
Master boot record
used[95]

+661 MB for Service Pack 1 and 1a[96] +1.8 GB for Service Pack 2[97] +900 MB for Service Pack 3[98]

Media CD-ROM drive
CD-ROM drive
or compatible

Display Super VGA
Super VGA
(800 × 600)

Sound hardware N/A Sound card
Sound card
plus speakers/headphones

Input device(s) Keyboard, mouse

Professional x64 Edition[99]

CPU

x86-64 or compatible BIOS
BIOS
or compatible firmware[95]

Memory 256 MB

Hard drive

1.5 GB Master boot record
Master boot record
used[95]

Media CD-ROM drive
CD-ROM drive
or compatible

Display Super VGA
Super VGA
(800 × 600)

Sound hardware N/A Sound card
Sound card
plus speakers/headphones

Input device(s) Keyboard, mouse

64-Bit Edition[100][101]

CPU Itanium
Itanium
733 MHz Itanium
Itanium
800 MHz

Memory 1 GB

Hard drive 6 GB

Media CD-ROM drive
CD-ROM drive
or compatible

Display Super VGA
Super VGA
(800 × 600)

Input device(s) Keyboard, mouse

Notes:

^1 Even though this is Microsoft's stated minimum processor speed for Windows XP, it is possible to install and run the operating system on early IA-32 processors such as a P5 Pentium
Pentium
without MMX instructions. Windows XP
Windows XP
is not compatible with processors older than Pentium
Pentium
(such as 486) because it requires CMPXCHG8B instructions.[102] ^2 A Microsoft
Microsoft
TechNet paper from Summer 2001 (before Windows XP's actual release), states that: "A computer with 64 MB of RAM will have sufficient resources to run Windows XP
Windows XP
and a few applications with moderate memory requirements." (Emphasis added.) These were said to be office productivity applications, e-mail programs, and web browsers (of the time). With such a configuration, user interface enhancements and fast user switching are turned off by default. For comparable workloads, 64 MB of RAM was then regarded as providing an equal or better user experience on Windows XP
Windows XP
with similar settings than it would with Windows ME
Windows ME
on the same hardware. In a later section of the paper, superior performance over Windows ME
Windows ME
was noted with 128 MB of RAM or more, and with computers that exceed the minimum hardware requirements.[103]

Physical memory limits[edit] The maximum amount of RAM that Windows XP
Windows XP
can support varies depending on the product edition and the processor architecture, as shown in the following table.[104][105]

Physical memory limits of Windows XP[104][105]

Edition Maximum

Starter 512 MB

Home 4 GB

Media Center

Tablet PC

Professional

Professional x64 128 GB[106]

64-bit (Itanium)

Processor limits[edit] Windows XP
Windows XP
Professional supports up to two physical processors[107] (CPU sockets);[108] Windows XP
Windows XP
Home Edition is limited to one.[109] Windows XP
Windows XP
supports a greater number of logical processors. A logical processor is either: 1) One of the two handlers of threads of instructions in one of the cores of a physical processor with support for hyper-threading present and enabled; or 2) one of the cores of one of the physical processors without enabled support for hyper-threading. Windows XP
Windows XP
32-bit editions support up to 32 logical processors;[110] 64-bit editions support up to 64 logical processors.[111] Support lifecycle[edit]

Support status summary

Expiration date

Mainstream support April 14, 2009 (2009-04-14)[4]

Extended support April 8, 2014 (2014-04-08)[4]

Applicable XP editions:

Home Edition, Professional Edition, Professional x64 Edition, Professional for Embedded Systems, Media Center Editions (all), Starter Edition, Tablet PC Edition and Tablet PC Edition 2005,[4] as well as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs.[112]

Exceptions

Windows XP
Windows XP
Embedded Mainstream support ended on January 11, 2011.[4] Extended support ended on January 12, 2016.[4]

Windows Embedded
Windows Embedded
for Point of Service Mainstream support ended on April 12, 2011[113] Extended support ended on April 12, 2016[113]

Windows Embedded
Windows Embedded
Standard 2009 Mainstream support ended on January 14, 2014. Extended support ends on January 8, 2019.[114]

Windows Embedded
Windows Embedded
POSReady 2009 Mainstream support ended on April 8, 2014. Extended support ends on April 9, 2019.[115]

Support for Windows XP
Windows XP
without a service pack ended on September 30, 2005.[4] Windows XP
Windows XP
Service Packs 1 and 1a were retired on October 10, 2006,[4] and Windows XP
Windows XP
Service Pack 2 reached end of support on July 13, 2010, almost six years after its general availability.[4] The company stopped general licensing of Windows XP
Windows XP
to OEMs and terminated retail sales of the operating system on June 30, 2008, 17 months after the release of Windows Vista.[116][117] However, an exception was announced on April 3, 2008, for OEMs producing what it defined as "ultra low-cost personal computers", particularly netbooks, until one year after the availability of Windows 7
Windows 7
on October 22, 2010. Analysts felt that the move was primarily intended to compete against Linux-based netbooks, although Microsoft's Kevin Hutz stated that the decision was due to apparent market demand for low-end computers with Windows.[118][119][120] Variants of Windows XP
Windows XP
for embedded systems have different support policies: Windows XP Embedded
Windows XP Embedded
SP3 and Windows Embedded
Windows Embedded
for Point of Service SP3 were supported until January and April 2016, respectively. Windows Embedded Standard 2009
Windows Embedded Standard 2009
and Windows Embedded
Windows Embedded
POSReady 2009 continue to receive Extended support through January and April 2019, respectively.[121] End of support[edit] On April 14, 2009, Windows XP
Windows XP
exited mainstream support and entered the Extended support phase; Microsoft
Microsoft
continued to provide security updates every month for Windows XP; however, free technical support, warranty claims, and design changes were no longer being offered. Extended support ended on April 8, 2014, over 12 years since the release of XP; normally Microsoft
Microsoft
products have a support life cycle of only 10 years.[122] Beyond the final security updates released on April 8, no more security patches or support information are provided for XP free-of-charge; "critical patches" will still be created, and made available only to customers subscribing to a paid "Custom Support" plan.[122][123][124] As it is a Windows component, all versions of Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
for Windows XP
Windows XP
also became unsupported.[125] In January 2014, it was estimated that more than 95% of the 3 million automated teller machines in the world were still running Windows XP (which largely replaced IBM's OS/2
OS/2
as the predominant operating system on ATMs); ATMs have an average lifecycle of between seven and ten years, but some have had lifecycles as long as 15. Plans were being made by several ATM vendors and their customers to migrate to Windows 7-based systems over the course of 2014, while vendors have also considered the possibility of using Linux-based platforms in the future to give them more flexibility for support lifecycles, and the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has since endorsed Windows 10
Windows 10
as a further replacement.[126] However, ATMs typically run the embedded variant of Windows XP, which was supported through January 2016.[127][128] As of May 2017, around 60% of the 220,000 ATMs in India
India
still run Windows XP.[129] As of January 2014, at least 49% of all computers in China
China
still ran XP. These holdouts have been influenced by several factors; prices of genuine copies of Windows in the country are high, while Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
warned that Windows 8
Windows 8
could allegedly expose users to surveillance by the United States government, and the Chinese government would ban the purchase of Windows 8
Windows 8
products for government use in May 2014 in protest of Microsoft's inability to provide "guaranteed" support. The government also had concerns that the impending end of support could affect their anti-piracy initiatives with Microsoft, as users would simply pirate newer versions rather than purchasing them legally. As such, government officials formally requested that Microsoft
Microsoft
extend the support period for XP for these reasons. While Microsoft
Microsoft
did not comply with their requests, a number of major Chinese software developers, such as Lenovo, Kingsoft
Kingsoft
and Tencent, will provide free support and resources for Chinese users migrating from XP.[130][131][132][133][134] Several governments, in particular the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, elected to negotiate "Custom Support" plans with Microsoft
Microsoft
for their continued, internal use of Windows XP; the British government's deal lasts for a year, and also covers support for Office 2003
Office 2003
(which reached end-of-life the same day) and cost £5.5 million.[135][136][137] On March 8, 2014, Microsoft
Microsoft
deployed an update for XP that, on the 8th of each month, displays a pop-up notification to remind users about the end of support; however, these notifications may be disabled by the user.[138] Microsoft
Microsoft
also partnered with Laplink to provide a special "express" version of its PCmover software to help users migrate files and settings from XP to a computer with a newer version of Windows.[138][139]

An electroencephalograph running on Windows XP. The medical industry continues to utilise Windows XP, partly due to medical applications being incompatible with later versions of Windows.

Despite the approaching end of support, there were still notable holdouts that had not migrated past XP; many users elected to remain on XP because of the poor reception of Windows Vista, sales of newer PCs with newer versions of Windows declined due to the Great Recession and the effects of Vista, and deployments of new versions of Windows in enterprise environments require a large amount of planning, which includes testing applications for compatibility (especially those that are dependent on Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
6, which is not compatible with newer versions of Windows).[140][141][130][142] Major security software vendors (including Microsoft
Microsoft
itself) planned to continue offering support and definitions for Windows XP
Windows XP
past the end of support to varying extents, along with the developers of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera web browsers;[125] despite these measures, critics similarly argued that users should eventually migrate from XP to a supported platform.[140][130][143][144][135] Microsoft
Microsoft
continued to provide Security Essentials virus definitions and updates for its Malicious Software Removal Tool
Malicious Software Removal Tool
(MSRT) for XP until July 14, 2015.[145] As the end of extended support approached, Microsoft
Microsoft
began to increasingly urge XP customers to migrate to newer versions such as Windows 7
Windows 7
or 8 in the interest of security, suggesting that attackers could reverse engineer security patches for newer versions of Windows and use them to target equivalent vulnerabilities in XP.[146][147][148] Windows XP
Windows XP
is remotely exploitable by numerous security holes that were discovered after Microsoft
Microsoft
stopped supporting it.[149][150][151] Similarly specialized devices that run XP, particularly medical devices, must have any revisions to their software—even security updates for the underlying operating system—approved by relevant regulators before they can be released. For the same reason, manufacturers of medical devices had historically refused to provide, or even allow the installation of any Windows updates for these devices, leaving them open to security exploits and malware.[137][152] Despite the end of support for Windows XP, Microsoft
Microsoft
has released two emergency security patches for the operating system to patch major security vulnerabilities:

A patch released May 2014 to address recently discovered vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
6 through 11 on all versions of Windows.[153][154][155][156] A patch released May 2017 to address a vulnerability that was being leveraged by the WannaCry ransomware attack.[157]

Reception[edit] On release, Windows XP
Windows XP
received mostly positive reviews. CNET described the operating system as being "worth the hype", considering the new interface to be "spiffier" and more intuitive than previous versions, but feeling that it may "annoy" experienced users with its "hand-holding". XP's expanded multimedia support and CD burning functionality was also noted, along with its streamlined networking tools. The performance improvements of XP in comparison to 2000 and ME were also praised, along with its increased number of built-in device drivers in comparison to 2000. The software compatibility tools were also praised, although it was noted that some programs, particularly older MS-DOS
MS-DOS
software, may not work correctly on XP due to its differing architecture. They panned Windows XP's new licensing model and product activation system, considering it to be a "slightly annoying roadblock", but acknowledged Microsoft's intent for the changes.[158] PC Magazine
PC Magazine
provided similar praise, although noting that a number of its online features were designed to promote Microsoft-owned services, and that aside from quicker boot times, XP's overall performance showed little difference over Windows 2000.[159] Market share[edit] See also: Usage share of operating systems According to web analytics data generated by Net Applications, Windows XP was the most widely used operating system until August 2012, when Windows 7
Windows 7
overtook it.[160] In January 2014, Net Applications reported a market share of 29.23% of "desktop operating systems" for XP (when XP was introduced there was not a separate mobile category to track), while W3Schools
W3Schools
reported a share of 11.0%.[161][162] According to web analytics data generated by StatOwl, Windows XP
Windows XP
had a 27.82% market share as of November 2012, having dropped to second place in October 2011.[163] According to web analytics data generated by W3Schools, from September 2003 to July 2011, Windows XP
Windows XP
was the most widely used operating system for accessing the w3schools website, which they claim is consistent with statistics from other websites. As of August 2015[update], Windows XP
Windows XP
market share was at 3.6% after having peaked at 76.1% in January 2007.[162] As of November 2016[update], Windows XP
Windows XP
desktop market share, according web analysis (as a proxy for all use) shows significant variation in different parts of the world, but was on average at 4.66% (according to NetMarketshare, 8.45%[164]) ranked after three other versions of Windows[165] by StatCounter's numbers (2.31% across all platforms[166]); for example, in North America usage of Windows XP
Windows XP
had dropped to 2.06%. As of 2018[update], in most regions Windows XP
Windows XP
market share has gone below 4%, while it is still stubbornly in the double digit market share, years after discontinuation, in a few countries such as China at 10.39% and North Korea
North Korea
at 15.1%.[167] See also[edit]

Microsoft
Microsoft
portal

Comparison of operating systems History of operating systems Legacy system List of operating systems

References[edit]

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Ending Support for Windows XP
Windows XP
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will furnish malware assassin to XP users until mid-2015". Computerworld. IDG.  ^ " Microsoft
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Warns of Permanent Zero-Day Exploits for Windows XP". Infosecurity. Reed Exhibitions. August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2013.  ^ Voss, Pete (April 10, 2012). " Windows XP
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and Office 2003
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countdown to end of support, and the April 2012 bulletins". Microsoft
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Security Response Center. Retrieved April 10, 2012.  ^ Chernyak, Stella (April 9, 2012). "Upgrade Today: Two-Year Countdown to End of Support for Windows XP
Windows XP
and Office 2003". Windows for Your Business Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved April 10, 2012.  ^ " Microsoft
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Security Bulletin MS15-011 JASBUG". Retrieved September 18, 2015.  ^ " IBM
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X-Force Researcher Finds Significant Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows". Securityintelligence.com. Retrieved September 18, 2015.  ^ " Microsoft
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Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows XP.

Joyce, Jerry; Moon, Marianne (2004). Microsoft
Microsoft
Windows XP
Windows XP
Plain & Simple. Microsoft
Microsoft
Press. ISBN 978-0-7356-2112-1.  Support for Windows XP
Windows XP
ended, UK Facing Major Security Issue. "Windows for Submarines". Microsoft
Microsoft
UK Government Blog. Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG)  "No, Trident doesn't run on Windows XP". UK Defence Journal. 2017-05-15. US and UK officials have announced future upgrades to their Trident missiles program, and more specifically, to the missile’s software, in order to prevent cyber-attacks. 

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